|Studebaker has a long and mostly
distinguished history, even before they started building cars. Studebaker racing
history is presented here as a time line. The time line has entries at the time
the event occurred. If you have any additions or corrections to the time line
please let me know so I can get the line updated or corrected ASAP. For the time
being, this will be an on-going project, with a completion date of "more to
Studebaker Racing Time Line
Before we present just the racing aspects of Studebaker, here is a brief background on the Studebaker company..............
For 114 years Studebaker built buggies, horse-drawn wagons, trucks and fine automobiles. Brothers Henry and Clem Studebaker began doing business in February, 1852, when they opened a blacksmith shop in a small Indiana town located on the "south bend" of the St. Joseph River, near the Michigan border. On that first day of business, they made 25 cents profit for shoeing one horse, but by the end of that year they had built and sold two wagons.
Three more brothers soon joined the business,
most notably John M. Studebaker, known as "Wheelbarrow Johnny." He
made a fortune ($8,000) producing and selling wheelbarrows to miners in Hangtown,
CA, (now Placerville), during the California gold rush, and brought much needed capital back to
South Bend. John ran the company long after the other brothers passed away, and
survived until March, 1917. He took the company into the auto business, although
Studebaker continued building wagons until 1920. If you've ever seen a Budweiser
beer wagon pulled by Clydesdale horses, then you probably saw a Studebaker
In it's best calendar year of production (1950) Studebaker built 268,099 autos that came to be known as "Bulletnoses" and 52,146 trucks for a total of 320,245 vehicles.Studebaker was the only company that made the transition from producing horse-drawn wagons to motor vehicles, and also the only auto company to emerge from receivership during the great depression and get back in the business.
Now, on to the business of performance and racing........
Although it wasn't a race as such, Studebaker proved it could take the punishment. Here is a 1911 Studebaker Flanders 20 during it's "First to Hazelton" run from Seattle, Washington, USA.
the late twenties, Studebaker was a successful manufacturer of mid line cars. In
1928, Studebaker made a bid for the fine car market with the introduction of the
new President, featuring a new high output eight-cylinder engine. According to
Studebaker, the new President “finds a parallel in sustained speed only in the
light of comets, meteors, and other heavenly bodies”.
Later, in 1931, the engine was upgraded
to nine main bearing construction, and a modified President won the Pike’s
Peak hill-climb. Studebakers were also quite successful at the Indy 500, always
finishing in the top ten.
One of the rarest of rare Studebakers is built, and followed along during it's birth and trial by road test.
More to come...............
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